Twelve am flowers are an alternative rock and baroque band who hail from Los Angeles and whose emotive and sophisticated lyrics are both accessible, yet introspective. Musically accomplished, Twelve am flowers have produced an array of songs, which are well-crafted and heighten the senses with their theatrical and stunning soundscapes.
“Drown Together” is a song about being in a no win love situation, where the protagonist appears to be enchanted and deceived by a siren and is now stuck in an ocean riddled with desire. Despite having the opportunity to move on or swim for survival, the protagonist appears to want to perversely wallow in the pain as a way to keep the desire burning eternally.
Sounding in parts like a subdued Arcade Fire and Smashing Pumpkins, “Drown together” is a beautiful baroque ballad, whose gentle drums, subtle acoustic guitars and piercing pianos eloquently sets the melancholic backdrop of the song. Lyrically the song is concise, reflective, yet repetitive, illustrating the intrusive, obsessive aftermath. What’s impressive about “Drown together” is the way the choice of instruments encapsulates the heart-felt emotions: “See who is leading who on…” is synchronised against the striking piano, depicting emotions in stereo, bringing them to the surface.
With rich and oily vocals, which resonate throughout, “Drown together” intensifies, with its majestic cello and piano interludes, which sound like they are delivered with high rising intonation, illustrating the unresolved passion: “We could live in hope or burn straight through our lifetimes. So let’s drown together Ignore the sun and slip into our own oblivion…”
Although it’s the cello which conveys consistently the oceanic sorrow, I think it’s the whirly, penetrative acoustic guitar which is more significant. It’s as if the circular and shimmering tones represent the Siren’s powerful presence, which haunts, and crashes in waves.
However it’s towards the end of the song, the ponderous cello solo again takes centre stage, sitting heavily on the prolonged strumming guitar and hammering drums. Again this could illustrate the despair or even the feeling of being pushed violently, deep down into the ocean, towards that dark, indifferent oblivion…
“Becomes Pretends” is a more subdued song, which appears to be about feeling powerless, being stuck in a rut and “looking for a way out”. Again, lyrically concise and heart-felt honesty, “Becomes Pretends” is wrapped up with headlong acoustic guitars and drums that gallop wistfully throughout. Instrumentally, “Becomes Pretends”, is collectively cohesive, providing a powerful, yet theatrical backdrop. With muted cellos and brief Spanish sounding guitar interludes, “Becomes Pretends”, is paradoxically a mix of musical grandeur, which conveys power, unlike the feelings of the protagonist
“Empire Crush” is a song which appears to be about a loved one leaving, which is both lyrically cryptic and naked throughout. Punctured by moments of heart-felt tenderness, “Empire Crush” is a whirlwind of dramatic orchestration coated with intimate melodic intervals: “I hate to see you go honey, is this what you really need my loss, it makes me want to scream I can’t believe…as I just want to love you…”.
Although “Empire Crush”, in parts sounds like Arcade Fire, it remains an original and magnetic song.Delivered at a fast tempo, against a myriad of unhinged arrangements which manoeuvre independently, “Empire Crush” is heightened by the passionate, abrupt piano which propels the song emotionally, illustrating the unexpected, newfound predicament. “I can’t believe this wanton attitude…” With fleeting, subtle crunchy guitars adding an angst element, which are then remedied by the swaying calm cellos, illustrating evocatively the spectrum of emotions felt. It’s through all these head-spinning sounds you can really feel the upheaval and unexpected anguish conveyed. Interestingly, there is a softer tempo vocal interlude, carried by the swaying cello which encapsulates a more reflective mood, suggesting reality of a loss is setting in, “So bury me, beneath whites hills of salt and bleach while magnetic waves decay..”
It’s during the final arrangement that the piano becomes subdued and the guitar, drums and cello are synchronised, perhaps suggesting that emotions have reached an equilibrium state, or refined simply to permeate the closing lines of “as I just want to love you…”